Friday, October 18, 2013

Worth Reading...

Sharing a few highlights from the past couple of weeks.

1. Improving School Lunch By Design (Martin)- design thinking approach to improving school lunches

“Sure, we could close all the campuses and get the same results,” says Sandy Speicher, an associate partner at IDEO, “but designing with the kids’ desires in mind makes them feel valued. Kids learn about what they’re eating through their choices. The district learns about consumption patterns and reduces waste. Everyone gets smarter.”

2. Setting Norms (Richardson)- comments on the newly opened Workshop School in Philadelphia

Today, each of  five advisory groups were sharing out the results of a norms building exercise that was pretty cool. Each group of about 15 students had spent a good chunk of time over the first few weeks trying to select four words that they would use to represent their group to the school. Surprisingly, there was some pretty wide variety…one group had even briefly considered the word “chivalrous,” though most others had landed on words like “intelligent” and “hard-working” and “creative.” Students in the advisories were selected to present the word to the rest of the classes as they moved around the building, and they all asked questions of one another: Why did a particular class select that word? How were they defining the words? What words didn’t they choose and why? It was fun to watch.

3. The Onescreen IS My Eduslam (Reich)- different way to look at the flexibility inherent in the iPad

 the #onescreen idea, the notion that iPads are best understood as portable multi-media creation devices rather than repositories of content apps, and the few apps that you need should fit on one screen.  

4. Being The Teacher (Reilly)- thoughts on what it means to be a teacher 

I am reminded while watching a really super intermediate grade teacher work that teaching well requires a commitment beyond what one thinks one can do and know.  Really fine teaching is edgy, unknowable in some primary ways as it happens in the present.  In such classrooms, emergence is perhaps the only constant leaving teachers to continuously work hard reading/misreading/rereading while on their feet.

5. Learning By Making (Dougherty)- learning by doing, engaging students in creating physical products

 I see the power of engaging kids in science and technology through the practices of making and hands-on experiences, through tinkering and taking things apart. Schools seem to have forgotten that students learn best when they are engaged; in fact, the biggest problem in schools is boredom. Students sit passively, expected to absorb all the content that is thrown at them without much context. The context that’s missing is the real world.

6. Casey Neistat- any of the films on the page are worth viewing but the one below is a personal favorite